Christmas Day in New Zealand

When is Christmas Day in New Zealand?

Christmas Day in New Zealand is on December 25, 2022. It falls on Sunday.

How many days until Christmas Day in New Zealand?

There are 128 Days left until Christmas Day in New Zealand.

Is Christmas Day a public holiday in New Zealand?

Christmas Day is a public holiday in New Zealand and it is one of the religious occasions celebrated by Christians around the globe. This Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is an annual feast observed every 25th day of December. Culturally, non-Christian people also celebrate the occasion while the Christians celebrate it religiously. The holiday happens to be on the middle of summer days in New Zealand, along with other countries in Southern Hemisphere. Such weather gives way for Kiwis to enjoy Christmas in the beach, picnics, or any outdoor settings with their loved ones. On this day, people get their day off from both school and work. Although some shops and restaurants observe unusual schedules, government offices, schools, businesses, and other establishments are usually closed for the holiday.

Origin of Christmas Day

New Zealand’s Christmas Day is distinct to countries from northern hemisphere pertaining to weather. If countries like the United States, Canada, and other European countries celebrate Christmas during winter season, New Zealand enjoy this holiday in the middle of its summer season which is why many outdoor activities are organized for the public around the holiday.

How did Christmas begin?

Christmas comes from the phrase “Mass of Christ”. Christians always remember how Jesus sacrificed, died, and came back to life. Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birthday, although the truth about the actual date of Christ’s birth may not be very clear and proven. Many theories revolve around this. Since the New Testament did not provide Jesus’ official birthdate, Christians accepted the December 25th as Jesus Christ’s birthday believing Pope Julius I. He believed to the theory where Angel Gabriel appeared in front of Mary and announced her having a baby at exactly March 25th. Mary declared that she would give birth to a special baby nine months from then on. On 350 A.D, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Julius I made an official declaration having December 25 as the birthdate of Jesus. Since then, the date was accepted by Christians as the official celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth and eventually, it was universally accepted.

When did Christmas became a public holiday in New Zealand?

Christmas Day was introduced to Kiwis in the early 19th century. It was when Christian missionaries came to New Zealand. The observance became a public holiday in 1910. It was signed under Bank Holiday Act 1873. All workers in the country were guaranteed a day off on the Christmas day and the following holiday which is Boxing Day under the legal recognition of Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1894. These are confirmed following the Public Holidays Act 1910.


Christmas Day Traditions in New Zealand

Just like how most people around the world celebrate Christmas Day, people in New Zealand often spend the holiday with their loved ones. Family-related activities are very common on this holiday. Among them are designing Christmas trees, attending Christmas parades, going to the beach, and more.

Pohutukawa Tree as the Christmas Tree in New Zealand

The iconic Christmas Tree in New Zealand is called Metrosideros excelsa, commonly known as Pohutukawa Tree. Pohutukawa Tree blooms every summer holiday in the country, which is also the same time when Christmas is celebrated. These trees have blazing crimson flowers and leaves with green color on top and white fuzzy underside covered with small hairs. Pohutukawa Trees can be found in coastal areas in North Island. These are featured in Christmas cards, poems, and songs as well. It became part of the Christmas traditions for Kiwis which importantly symbolize the country and the holiday. The tallest Christmas Tree is found in Auckland with 328 meters. This giant Christmas Tree will light the whole mood of the holiday when lit up.

Christmas Parades

Various Christmas Parades took place in the city with lots of entertainment for all ages. The most popular Santa Parade is Auckland’s event. Since it is on summer season, the weather is best to have a fun parade. Several of Santa Parades have decorated floats with bands and marching teams. Such event attracts thousands of people in the area. Santa Claus would always be the main attraction among kids for the event together with wonderful pageantry, fun, and surprises.

Father Christmas

Christmas Day would not be perfect without the mythical Father Christmas, Santa Claus. New Zealand’s Santa Claus traditionally wears sunglasses, flip-flops with his red and white costume. He would visit towns and small villages then toss candies for children. He would give gifts through the window of the houses. Santa Claus would also go to beaches since many Kiwis families spend the holiday there. It has become a tradition in a lot of beaches for Santa Claus to be present and give gifts to children around the area.

Christmas Meal

Some families would choose to have a Christmas meal with the family outside, while others prefer to have it in their own house instead. Some would have a barbecue for Christmas Lunch. They would barbecue shrimps, fishes, and other meats like ham slices. Before they eat, opening of presents would come first. One of the most popular gifts for Kiwis is Jandals (NZ slang for flip-flops). For Christmas dinner, usual foods prepared include Christmas cake served with plum pudding and ice cream as desserts. Traditional foods for Kiwis during the holiday include lamb, turkey, roasted beef, and many vegetables.

Religious services

Christians attend church services to mark and remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Many religious festivals are also held in New Zealand and enjoyed by many Kiwis. Midnight mass held on 12 a.m. on Christmas night is observed. Churches are usually full. Other religious services include the Nine Lessons and Carols which is popular in cathedrals and churches when it nears Christmas Eve.

Dates of Observance for Christmas Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2022 December 25 Sunday Christmas Day
2023 December 25 Monday Christmas Day
2024 December 25 Wednesday Christmas Day
2025 December 25 Thursday Christmas Day
2026 December 25 Friday Christmas Day
2027 December 25 Saturday Christmas Day
Upcoming New Zealand Holidays
Holiday Date
Labour Day October 24, 2022
Christmas Day December 25, 2022
Boxing Day December 26, 2022